Whyte and Mackay was established by Charles Mackay and James White. The business partners began working for a company called Allan & Poynter. The company began by warehousing dry goods. Toward the latter part of the nineteenth century, the company began warehousing spirits, particularly whisky, which was becoming increasingly desired, for many of the French brandies had become rare due to phylloxera.
Then owner, William Scott passed away and the business was subsequently sold to James Whyte and Charles Mackay. The company was renamed Whyte and Mackay. The partners established a whisky blending facility on Robertson Lane in Glasgow. It was not long after they began, that the Scotch whisky market crashed.
Whyte and Mackay survived the whisky recession and demand increased during the late 1920s, particularly from overseas, though this was short-lived - slowed as it was with the advent of Prohibition. During the 1930s, demand picked up again and the Australasian sector was a key market. Over the latter part of the twentieth century, Whyte and Mackay really started to enjoy good fortunes, with a continual demand brought about by advertising in earnest.